Memorial Day is a holiday which we hold dear to our heart. However, there is a little known part of the celebration which happens each year at this time in many places around the country, with little fanfare. When we think of this day, we want to say thanks and remember the lives and missions given to our country. We want to remember the veterans who gave without asking for fame or glory, sometimes it happened sometimes it did not, but never did one go in to a battle with the goal being fame and glory.
There is a group of veterans each year who get a peace which is not of the fame and glory side, but rather from the human side. Few of us think about those people who die in our communities and have no one to make the necessary steps to have a service and burial. This is a small secret kept and revered by funeral directors around the US. People come to them weekly who are not claimed by family for so many reasons they are to countless to mention here. However, the jest of this is the coroner in each area (county, township or municipality) who will not be claimed and must be left for a specific amount of time before burial can take place in a pulper’s graveyard. These graves are marked only by a small paper marker and no other remembrance.
One thing which is happening around our nation is the ceremony for veterans whose remains have not been claimed. These remains are transported to a regional National Cemetery for final placement. Most of us just think this is a matter of course, if we chose to consciously think about it all. There is only fanfare when a military group takes up the task and promotes the event within the community. No one will be there to receive the flag, no bagpipe will play, sometimes a gun salute and sometimes not. However, most notably is the lack of human interest.
It may seem like this is an odd time to write about this as the ceremonies are finishing up and we are ready to move on; however, this is the best time to bring this little glitch in our system to light. If a church can bring together people to line a funeral route with flags for a fallen heroes, certainly each community could bring together a few veterans and community people to line a funeral drive for not only our fallen, but also our forgotten.